6 March 2023

‘Groundhog Day asylum bill’ repeats impossible promises on small boats

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The Government is repeating its impossible promises of last year to tackle Channel crossings – when it should be looking at practical solutions.

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The “Groundhog Day asylum Bill” outlined by Number 10 “repeats the impossible promises that the Government made in last year’s Bill – and failed to keep,” British Future said today. Responding to reports that the government would this week table its ‘Small boats bill,’ Sunder Katwala, Director of British Future, added:

“The Government has yet to explain any workable solutions to the practical challenges that made last year’s Bill largely useless at stopping small boats. The UK cannot detain everyone when it hasn’t enough detention places; and it cannot deport everyone when it doesn’t have agreements with other countries to do so safely.

“So instead of new, practical proposals, we have more grandiose headlines, more vows and promises, and déja vu all over again.

“It is possible to reform the asylum system so it is more effective, more orderly and more humane. But that will take a different approach. Repeating the failed policies of last year but expecting different results is a madness that fails people needing protection and voters who want the government to get a grip.”

British Future recently published Control and compassion: a new plan for an effective and fair UK asylum system,a new report setting out ten proposals for reforming asylum protection in the UK. As well as measures to undermine the business model of people smugglers and reduce boat crossings, it also includes proposals to make asylum case processing and safe returns faster and fairer, saving money on expensive hotel accommodation. A further package of measures would help people integrate and find work once they have been granted refugee status in the UK.

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